• Although the term ‘rapture’ is not found in the Bible, the doctrine is based on Scripture
  • The term “Rapture” derives from the Latin verb ‘Rapere‘, meaning ‘to carry off‘ or ‘to catch up
  • The doctrine of the Rapture is part of the area of Biblical study described as ‘Eschatology
  • Eschatology is a part of theology that is concerned with the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity.
  • Eschatology is derived from the Greek word ‘éschatos’ meaning “the study of last end-time events”. Thus, this concept is commonly referred to as “the end of the world” or “end times”.
  • Rapture can thus be defined as: “An event in eschatology in which believers in Christ will be taken up to heaven either prior to or at the Second Coming. Rapture consists of an end-time event when all Christian believers who are alive, along with resurrected believers, will rise “in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air”.

Important eschatological differentiations:

  • Rapture: “Meet the Lord in the air”. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
  • Second Coming: “His feet shall stand upon the mount of Olives”. Zechariah 14:3-4. He comes to defeat the Anti-Christ and establish His Kingdom.
  • Tribulation: “tribulation and anguish” are the corrective sufferings that shall overtake the wicked (Romans 2:9)
  • Day of Wrath

Categorisation of Eschatological Scriptures

Matthew 24:27, 37-42
Matthew 25:31-34, 41
John 14:1-3
Acts 1:6-11
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3
2 Peter 3:10
Revelation 1:7
Revelation 6:14-17
Revelation 19:11-16
Revelation 22:12

The Rapture

Primary Scriptures 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54
What happens at the Rapture? 1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:52;

Timing Of The Rapture: Pre-Tribulation?

Pre-Tribulation? Daniel 9:20-27; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; Revelation 3:10
Rapture Second Coming
With the Lord where? 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Revelation 19:14
When? 1 Thessalonians 5:9 Revelation 6-19
Deliverance or judgement? 1 Thessalonians 5:9
Secret or visible? 1 Corinthians 15:52 Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:29-30
Event dependent or not? Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:52 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; Matthew 25:15-30
  • Why is the distinction between the rapture and the second coming important?